If you thought being cheap means always leaving a small tip or stealing packets of ketchup, you aren’t familiar with the extremely cheap.
Extreme Cheapskates, one of TLC’s questionable “reality” shows, features penny pinchers who will amaze (and even disgust) you with how far they’ll go to save a few bucks.
Here are 10 money saving ideas from Extreme Cheapskates that I bet (and hope) you don’t try.
1. Drying and reusing paper towels
With great spills come great opportunity – to reuse paper towels, that is. Who said they were meant to be used just once?
The extremely cheap can use their paper towels, wash them, then hang them to before using them again, just like Roy Haynes does on the show!
Image by: overheadfluorescence
2. Living without toilet paper
Forget about separating two-ply — just stop using toilet paper altogether!
Kay Hashimoto, who was featured on the show and interviewed by The Daily Mail, has sworn off buying toilet paper. Instead, she’s substituted soap, water and, errr, her hands. If that makes you queasy, her actual quote from the show is too gross to publish here.
And her savings for all of this trouble/grossness? Drumroll… $6 per month!
Image by TLC.com
3. Collecting your own drinking water
We’ve all heard about the high cost of bottled water, but tap water costs too much now? For those that don’t want to pay $0.001 per gallon from the tap, there’s another option: Collect your own drinking water.
Ben Livingston of Extreme Cheapskates drives out and fills up on water in a local creek.
Image by: copleys
4. Covering yourself in cornstarch to beat the heat
I’m not sure how or if this absurd idea even works. But for Ben (mentioned above), who lives in Austin, Texas without air conditioning, anything as crazy as putting cornstarch on your skin is worth a try to beat the sweltering 100+ degree heat.
Sure, A/C is expensive, but can’t he get by with an electric fan?
Image by: fstorr
5. Eating left-behind food at restaurants
I rarely waste food, but I’d never touch diner’s plate. For Cheapskate Roy (from above), it’s an opportunity to save a few bucks. He’s not shy about dining off abandoned food from a nearby restaurant table.
Image by: geishabot
6. Serving roadkill to dinner guests
If you won’t touch food left behind by nearby diners, how about snacking on a fresh kill by a fellow driver?
Extreme Cheapskates Vickie and John go out with their kids in search of a deliciously-free meal that doesn’t even require a trip to the store. After passing on a little-too-rotted corpse of a fox, they settled on a rabbit they found down the street.
But don’t think they’d be so greedy to keep it all to themselves. They invited over a few friends to feast on their road kill rabbit meal.
Image by: brownpau
7. Asking for a dozen free samples, then not buying anything
We’ve all tried an ice cream sample or two before picking the best flavor to indulge in an entire cone’s worth. But if you don’t care about enjoying a whole scoop (and drawing the ire of a local business owner), just go for a dozen or so samples and then buy nothing like Roy does on the show.
For extra effect, tell your wife it’s a date and let her suffer the embarrassment (yup, he did that, too).
Image by: elwillo
8. Driving a “car” (or what remains of one)
I’m on board with keeping things frugal by driving used car that’s seen more than it’s fair share of miles and may have lost a bit of it’s glimmer along the way. But you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. That is, unless you’re Ben, who takes “clunker” to a whole new level with his ride.
Image by: mindfrieze
9. Unplugging everything when you leave the house
Phantom energy wasters like TVs, stereos, and cell phone charges suck up power when you’re not using them. While I’ll even admit to unplugging some of my devices when I leave the house, I can’t imagine unplugging everything in your house every time I leave.
That’s what Extreme Cheapskate Victoria does on the show, leaving literally no appliance untouched.
Image by: crazytales562
10. Flushing only once a week
Not to be outdone by the toilet paper saver mentioned above, another cheapskate (Greg) start puts the “It’s it’s yellow, let it mellow” rule to shame. No matter what it is, Greg lets it go a full week before flushing.
Oh, and when he does finally flush, it’s using shower water collected in a bucket.
What’s your favorite moment from Extreme Cheapskates?